Review: Shaun of the Dead

Posted by: Dean Kish  //  September 24, 2004 @ 11:59am

Filed under: Reviews

Have you ever felt like an urban zombie?

You wake up, give a giant yawn, scratch yourself, and stumble into the kitchen seeking your first cup of java. Then, even more like a zombie, you drop into your regular Monday to Friday routine.

Well, this has happened to Shaun (Simon Pegg), a TV salesman who seems to watch life walk by. When Shaun isn't trying to keep his roommates from fighting, he is trying to spend time with his girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield).

Liz is starting to get sick of Shaun's stalled take on life and dumps him. Shaun is in shock and at that moment it seems his world around him begins to crumble as well. Not figuratively but literally.

It seems that Shaun and Liz will have to put their feelings aside as their world is turned upside down when the undead rise from the grave. It comes down to a matter of survival for this disjointed couple.

The film's beginning is a lot like a British version of Office Space mixed somewhat with a sitcom about roommates. The beginning scenes where the characters go about their business, and the audience knows the world is falling apart yet they don't, are utterly priceless. The long pan shots that follow Shaun to his favorite convenience store so speak to film's premise of the zombification of the urban male.

When the film's characters finally uncover what is really going on, it becomes your typical zombie film right down to the humans making their last stand. When the comedy eventually evolves into gore and panic, I felt it really never lived up to the magic of the film's first half.

I wanted to see a new take on the zombie film. In a lot of ways, the film did that, but in others it just seems to hit the same pitfalls as your typical zombie film. I really loved the film's opening and the performance of Simon Pegg.

I guess I got disappointed when the jokes ran out and it was substituted by an onslaught of mindless gore. (3 out of 5) So Says the Soothsayer.

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